ALABAMA'S "GHOST TRAIL"
Yesterday I read a great article by Marty Roney on MontgomeryAdvertiser.com called "Alabama's 'ghost trail' may scare up tourism dollars." It was about how the Southwest Alabama Regional Tourism and Film Office plans to promote Alabama's Black Belt with a "ghost trail."
It's going to be set up as a driving, self-guided kind of tour. They'll have a website featuring ghost tales starting with stories from Dallas, Perry and Wilcox counties. More stories will be added as they're gathered.
They're hoping it encourages people to frequent this part of the state, which is more economically depressed than other areas of the state. (Not sure if that means it's more economically depressed overall, or if it's just not attracting tourists. That may be about to change.)
MORE CITIES EMBRACING PARANORMAL TOURISM
The Southwest Alabama Regional Tourism and Film Office took its cue from other cities that have realized that a good ghost business brings in tourism bucks. Some of the cities listed in the article that enthusiastically promote ghost/paranormal tourism included:
- Mansfield, Ohio (Specifically mentioning the Ohio State Reformatory, which you might have seen in the movie "The Shawshank Redemption" or on an episode of Ghost Hunters.)
- Richmond, Virginia
- Cape Fear area of North Carolina
- Long Beach Island, New Jersey
- Houston, Texas
It'll be interesting to see if more and more tourism offices start promoting haunt jaunts or ghost trails or the like to attract visitors to their states. If not, they should seriously consider it. If there's one thing us ghost enthusiasts like to do, it's travelling to track down ghosts.
That means spending on gas, food, and sometimes even lodging at our destination. Not to mention if the haunt jaunt itself charges a fee, like many museums, prisons, and historic homes do. Oh yes, there's definitely revenue to be realized by catering to us haunt jaunters.